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B C F G H I J M N P R S  V W Y




Historic Rivers, Pristine Beaches,

and Family Fun

Links to Coastal Virginia cities and towns, gateway to attractions, lodging, shopping, outdoor recreation, and other good stuff.

Links to Coastal Virginia attractions.

Water is integral to life in Coastal Virginia, located on the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay. From the dynamic waterfront of Norfolk to panorama of tug boats, Navy vessels, container ships, and sailing ships in the busiest harbors on the East Coast, life in this region revolves around water.

Virginia Beach, famous for its long expanse of pearly white sand, offers ocean-side fun including fishing, sunbathing, dolphin watching and nightlife.

Man in wheelchair on boardwalk at Virginia Beach

Enjoy a stroll along their wheelchair-accessible boardwalk.

The state’s largest aquarium awaits visitors to the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center. The rough exterior of a sand shark in the touch tanks filled with small sea creatures allows hands-on exposure to this underwater world.

The sea was the lifeline of the colonies. The Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, tracing three thousand years of maritime adventurers, features a world-renowned collection of boats from around the world, carved figureheads, miniature ships and nautical memorabilia.

Couple viewing exhibits at the Mariner's Museum

Visitors with mobility disabilities will enjoy the accessible exhibit areas, and travelers with visual disabilities learn how to tie the complicated knots sailors used aboard ships.

To experience life in the early days of Virginia you can experience the sights and sounds that the first explorers encountered in the early 1600’s at First Landing State Park. This park offers camping, picnic areas, and tactile exhibits of plant and animal specimens native to Coastal Virginia.

Accessible trail into a cypress swamp at First Landing State Park

A wheelchair-accessible trail wanders through moss-draped           cypress swamps at First Landing State Park.

The historic triangle of Jamestown, Williamsburg and Yorktown interpret the beginning, middle and end of the Colonial era. While offering a smorgasbord of activities and sights, it is a land of Colonial taverns, horse-drawn carriages, elegant plantations, battlefields and victory monuments.

At Jamestown Settlement, visitors see smoke rising from cooking fires at the Powhatan Indian village and a reconstruction of the first permanent English settlement in America. Almost everything at Jamestown Settlement’s museum, theater and outdoor exhibits is on one level and wheelchair-accessible, and interpreters encourage participation in corn grinding or basket weaving.

Woman on scooter playing quoits, an early American game

Quoits, a ring-toss game, is one of the hands-on activities available to visitors at Jamestown Settlement's re-created colonial fort.

Photo courtesy of Jamestown Settlement

Explore Colonial Williamsburg, where historical interpreters bring the 18th century to life with Colonial music, trades demonstrations — such as blacksmithing and wig making. A captioned orientation film and hands-on activities at certain exhibits enhance the experience of persons with disabilities who visit here.

wigmaking demonstration at Colonial Williamsburg

You can become an active participant in eighteenth century life and meet the founding fathers and everyday people who lived through the critical events that led to our nation's freedom.

The third side of the triangle, Yorktown serves as a reminder of where the American Revolution ended and the United States began when British General Cornwallis surrendered to General George Washington and the French General the Marquis de Lafayette. The Yorktown Victory Center presents the Revolutionary War with a recreated Continental Army camp and 18th-century farm. Signed tours can be arranged with advanced notice along with tactile tours of colonial and military life.

18th century surgeon demonstrates a hand splint to a  man using a wheelchair

Demonstrating the tasks of a Revolutionary War surgeon, a historical interpreter at the Yorktown Victory Center's re-created Continental Army encampment fits a visitor with a 18th-century-style splint.

Photo courtesy of Yorktown Victory Center

Northern Neck is River Country with the York, Rappahannock and Potomac Rivers ensure you are never far from the water and all its bounty. It’s just the place to experience Virginia’s Colonial charm with former plantations and quiet fishing villages. While Robert E. Lee’s name is synonymous with the Civil War, his ancestral home, Stratford Hall, dates to Colonial times.

The main house at Stratford Hall

This historic home has a wheelchair track for visitors who can transfer from their own chairs and offers sign language tours with advance notice.

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A short distance from the historic locations, Busch Gardens Williamsburg features European-themed roller coasters, rides and attractions. Consistently voted the “Most Beautiful Theme Park” by the National Amusement Park Historical Association, Busch Gardens Williamsburg also offers preferred seating and amplified handsets to accommodate visitors with disabilities to their top-rated shows and amusements.

Blind woman petting a Clydesdale horse

Visitors with visual disabilities have opportunities for many tactile experiences at Busch Gardens.

Photo courtesy of Busch Gardens

No matter what your interest, Coastal Virginia offers fun-filled attractions. You can travel to the future at Hampton’s Virginia Air and Space Center. With twelve full-sized aircraft, the Apollo 12 Command Module, over a hundred hands-on exhibits, plus IMAX theater presentations. Accessible fine art galleries abound: African and African-American art at Hampton University Museum or the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, hailed by the Wall Street Journal as one of the 20 top museums in the country. 

Decorative mask

A decorative mask from the Kuba peoples of the Democratic         Republic of Congo

Photo courtesy of Hampton University Museum

stautes and art at the Chrysler Museum

The Chyrsler Museum houses an encyclopedic collection of more than 30,000 objects spanning almost 4,000 years of art history.

Visitors with visual disabilities can enjoy a fragrance garden of plants with distinctive scents and markers in braille at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. This spectacular garden has one of the largest collections of roses, azaleas, camellias and rhododendrons on the East Coast.

Sensory Garden at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens

This garden features plants that are attractive to the senses - touch, taste, smell, sight, hearing. Visitors are encouraged to explore the different qualities of each plant and enjoy their sights, textures and smells.

Photo courtesy of Norfolk Botanical Garden

Shopping addicts can shop-’til-they-drop at Prime Outlet Mall’s 80 designer stores. Trek west of Williamsburg to Lightfoot, home of the Williamsburg Pottery Factory, with its 32 buildings of bargains from around the world, and the Williamsburg Outlet Mall, featuring over 60 stores.

With its pristine beaches, historical landmarks and fun-filled diversions, Coastal Virginia has something for everyone.

Virginia is for lovers: couple walking on beach


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